| Forest Park
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1000 Beloit Avenue as purchased by the Village of Forest Park for $330,000.00
From: Blighted apartments bought for $330K - Village says police substation on the way
By Bob Skolnik FPR 1/23/07
Critics of a village proposal to spend $330,000 on a dilapidated rental property pointed to the absence of any renovation plans in calling the expense a waste of public dollars. Proponents, however, hailed the purchase as visionary and suggested a police substation at the location would one day prove that.
Monday night the village council voted in familiar 3-2 fashion to purchase the property at 1000 Beloit Ave. for $330,000. The property consists of two, two-story buildings on a 25 foot lot, which currently contain five apartments and a storefront…..
…..Mayor Anthony Calderone, commissioners Mark Hosty and Tim Gillian voted in favor of the purchase.
"I'd like to see some type of police facility," Calderone said after the meeting. "I'm most intrigued by putting a community resource center (there). We're calling it a police substation right now. I think there will be some type of police substation, but I think it can be more than a police substation."…..
…..However, commissioners Patrick Doolin and Theresa Steinbach argued the village was rushing into an ill conceived purchase.
"We're going to purchase it without knowing exactly what we're going to do with it," Steinbach said. "I don't think we're operating in an efficient manner or a well thought out manner. I don't think we're being prudent."
Doolin pointed out that the village council received no estimates on renovation costs. Additionally, a village-owned lot has sat vacant for years just a couple blocks away in the 1100 block of Lathrop Avenue, Doolin said, and could be used as a police substation if one is needed.
Given the village's size, though, Doolin questioned whether a substation is necessary.
"There is no demonstrated need for a police substation for a community of 2.25-square miles," Doolin said. "In effect, every patrol car is a police substation. No matter where a squad car is located it's about 45 seconds away in an emergency situation. If in fact there is a lack of police presence then we could use the half million dollars to hire additional police officers."
Doolin decried the lack of a detailed plan for the use of the property…..
3 beats 2 every time, done deal!
From: Village still weighing options - Future of Beloit Avenue purchase to be decided after elections
By Michelle Keefe FPR 3/13/07
Though the property at 1000 Beloit Ave. will be purchased by the village, no decisions have been made yet regarding its use or when renovations will begin.
Considered by many as an eyesore in the community, the property consists of five apartments and a storefront…..
…..Mayor Anthony Calderone pushed for the acquisition, suggesting the property be used as a police substation or community resource center, but the purchase was met with disapproval by commissioners Theresa Steinbach and Patrick Doolin, both of whom said the money could be put to better use…..
….."[The property] has been a longtime nuisance," Sturino said. "We're going to be sharing ideas with residents as to its potential use. We want to ensure that the use is compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods."
At this time, no estimated costs have been made regarding the cleanup and renovation of the property. According to Sturino, the money to cover those costs is not included in the current budget and the project will have to wait until the next fiscal year…..
…..Karen Hinz, who for 16 years has worked at Ed's Way Food Mart at 946 Beloit Ave., across the street from the blighted property, said the community could benefit from the change.
"It would be nice to have a greater police presence in the area," Hinz said. "We need more eyes around here."
In the beginning, the taxpayers of Forest Park paid $330,000.00 for 1000 Beloit Avenue. During the two and a half year debate about what to do with it, thousands of dollars in property tax revenues and property maintenance costs were lost, never to be recovered.
Village talks go silent on controversial vacant property - Park offered as alternative to police substation at 1000 Beloit
By Josh Adams FPR 10/9/07
Some 10 months after voting to purchase a blighted residential property on the promise of renovating the structure into a useful community resource, public officials are no closer to deciding what the site will be used for or when residents can expect to see improvements.
According to members of the village council, discussion on how best to rehab the now vacant building at 1000 Beloit Ave. has been nonexistent. Further, Village Administrator Mike Sturino confirmed that in the recently adopted budget there is no funding set aside to care for the property…..
…..Following the election in April, Calderone and Commissioner Mark Hosty are the only remaining council members who voted on the proposal. Both voted to acquire the property.
Hosty acknowledged the lack of further discussion on the property, but said he is willing to consider uses other than those mentioned at the time of the vote. Specifically, he listed a parking lot and green space as possible uses.
Calderone still favors using the property for a police substation, but said he would consider other uses. For now, the mayor is content to let the property sit and said the council will likely come back to it in the next two years.
"We certainly can afford to sit on it for a short period of time, maybe up to a year," Calderone said.
As for the split vote and the controversy surrounding the purchase, Hosty said much of that was simply political theater for the sake of the upcoming election.
"I think it's still a good purchase," Hosty said…..
…..Commissioner Mike Curry said he will support whatever proposal is in the community's best interest, but at this point he has no idea what that proposal might be…..
…..Hoskins, meanwhile, echoed Hosty's sentiment that a pocket park might be ideal, especially given that several schools are nearby. As for the proposal to provide police officers with a secondary facility, Hoskins doubted the village has the money…..
From: Wanting to help - Across Forest Park, adults look for ways to guide wayward teens
By Josh Adams Editor FPR 10/28/08
Prompted in part by a plea from neighborhood residents to curb rowdy, adolescent behavior, public officials across town are exploring what type of programming and funding might be available to help. Forest Park does not have a central location where teens can connect with each other and their community, but there is a smorgasbord of offerings as different agencies attempt to capture their attention. The library, the school district, the municipality and the parks all have various levels of teen-oriented programs…..
….."I think generally everybody is thinking teen center," Calderone said…..
…..Commissioner Rory Hoskins fully supports the effort and likes the idea of renovating a vacant village-owned property at 1000 Beloit. But, he said, it will take at least $300,000 to bring the structure into a usable state.
Village Administrator Mike Sturino confirmed that figure is the bare minimum needed to rehab the property…..
Though costs to demolish the buildings and convert the space were paid for in part by matching grant money, the taxpayers of Forest Park still had to provide 30% of the construction money estimated to be $40,000.00 or more.
Parking, parking we all need parking but should it take over a decade to get it?
Throughout the 1990s, the two buildings located at 7418 Randolph Street, sat decaying from neglect. They had gone from an eyesore to a full blown hazard to the neighborhood. There was interaction between the FP Building Department and the owner to get the place fixed up but neither side many any serious effort for years. We'll let the Forest Park Review detail the saga.
From: FP back in court over eyesore lot
By Andrea Freidinger Managing Editor FPR 12/6/00
…..In July, a judge found Ray Williams accountable for over $1 million in fee violations. Six months ago Williams admitted to the more than 30 violations. The village had been fining Williams $75 per day per violation. Yet the village will likely never see the $1 million-plus.
"Municipalities very rarely collect fee violations," Orr said.
Village legal counsel said she could not estimate how much this case alone has cost the village already.
"All we are trying to do is enforce code violations," she said.
Commissioner Gillian, who called 7418 Randolph St. "a safety hazard and an eyesore," said the case is like "playing a game."
"That place is an accident waiting to happen and costing the village gobs of money," he said…..
REVERSAL OF FORTUNES...
Blighted property may be bulldozed-Village prepares to purchase Randolph Street property and turn it into a parking lot.
By Andrea Mankowski Managing Editor
Forest Park residents, specifically those on the north side of the village along Randolph Street, may soon be relieved of a notorious property at 7418 Randolph St., which is close to being purchased by the village.
The Forest Park Village Council took action at Monday night's meeting to pay Raymond Williams, owner of the property, $218,750 for the blighted property…..
…..While it is a large sum of money to pay for the property in the condition it is in, Calderone said, "the price makes it all work."
"The price has lo be based on the value to the community," he said. "This is an investment; it was either that or rack up legal fees staying in court."
The village, according to Calderone, has already been litigating in court for two years "with no satisfaction."
Calderone, who expects to close on the property within the next 30 days, said once the deal is sealed and the buildings demolished, the site will, most likely be turned into a municipal parking lot.
From the 11/21/01 Editorial - Thank you for…and if:
We're thankful for the impending sale of the blighted property at 7418 Randolph St., which has been an eyesore for years, and particularly vexsome since it's located directly across from Grant-White School.
We'd be thankful //the village would give the site a little forethought rather than going the path of least resistance (and least creativity) and turning it into a parking lot. That may not be the best use of that land, and in a relatively landlocked suburb like ours, any property should be considered for possible green space.
7418 Randolph Street Sales Contract
From: Department heads unveil snow plan
By Andrea Mankowski FPR 1/30/02
….. The village council, which approved the hiring of Deany Excavation to take down the homes, recently purchased the two homes and will now pay over $18,000 to have them taken down. While the exact future of the site remains unknown, Calderone said he would like to see it turned into a parking lot…..
From: Village eyesore falls to wrecking ball
Bv Andrea Mankowski Managing Editor FPR 2/27/02
With a few commissioners and other village officials watching nearby, Mayor Anthony Calderone was at the controls of the backhoe excavator when it made its initial hit at the first of the two homes at 7418 Randolph St. last Tuesday afternoon……
…..After years of court trials and millions of dollars in unpaid code enforcement fines got nowhere as far as improvements to the homes with the property owner, the village was able to purchase the property. In November, the village paid the owner of the property Raymond Williams over $218,000 for the blighted land and homes.
….."It was a proud, proud day for the village," Calderone told at the audience at the village council meeting…..
From: Village proposes tentative budget
By Hayden Bush Managing Editor FPR 7/24/02
…..Village projects under consideration for next year include the possibility of a parking lot with 25 to 30 spots at a vacant property at 7418 Randolph St., the former site of a dilapidated house. That project would be funded with the aid of the state of Illinois, O’Shea said…..
Calderone announces plans for re-election - Mayor touts increased police
presence, village code enforcement as hallmarks of first administration, says new platform is not ready.
Bv Haydn Bush Managing Editor FPR 9/25/02
Mayor Tony Calderone announced his reelection plans this week, pointing to increased police patrols, vigilance on tearing down blighted properties and the completion of Madison Street redevelopment, as the highlights of his first administration in Forest Park….
…..Calderone also said he is pleased with efforts to aggressively monitor decaying properties in the village and figure out ways to tear them down in the hopes of ultimately redeveloping them.
"The building at 7418 Randolph was a major property we targeted specifically because it was blighted," Calderone said. "Now it's torn down and gone."…..
Almost nine years after acquiring 7418 Randolph Street, the Village was able to secure funding to pave the gravel patch and make it a real parking lot. It holds 10 cars!
Lost fines? Certainly not a million, but something.
Legal fees and court costs? "gobs of money," (Gillian 12.2000)
Property purchase $218,750.00
Building Demolition $18,000.00
Calderone campaign boast
Eight plus years of gravel dust
10 parking spaces.
Coming soon: More police, more parking and
the Titanic Promises of the Altenheim Property.